A renewable energy job to make a difference to our children’s children

A renewable energy job to make a difference to our children’s children

A renewable energy job to make a difference to our children’s children

If you want a career with good prospects that will make a sustainable difference to the world and the planet, renewable energy is the sector for you.   

Traditional energy sources have a shelf life, and renewable energy is growing. Renewable energy are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy - oil, gas and nuclear. Renewable energy are resources which are continually replenished; sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat, whereas other sources are finite and are becoming depleted. (oil 50 years approximately, gas 150 years) Renewable energy needs to evolve fast due to the impact that global warming is having.

In the US, renewable energy sources generate 12% of electricity but wind, waves, sunshine and other types could service 93% of the country’s current electricity needs. Source = www.scientificamerican.com

Clean energy is a broad area and includes large and small wind power to solar technologies such as PV, CSP, solar thermal to geothermal, biofuels, hydro, ocean and biomass energy.

Specialist skills such as clean energy deployment, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage are in big demand, with a shortage of skilled practitioners in green engineering. In the US for example, the US Power and Engineering Workforce Collaborative estimates that 11,000 workers are needed in power engineering when only 2000 people have undergraduate, masters and other higher qualifications.

The UK has the most ambitious low carbon energy targets of any developed country. The government is committed to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from their 1990 levels by 2050, with a 60% reduction target by 2030. Climate change concerns, coupled with high oil prices and growing government support are driving increases in renewable legislation, incentives, commercialisation and investment.

Analysts predict that by 2020, the global clean energy economy will be worth more than one trillion dollars so it represents a good and sustainable career path attracting attention from government, business and investors. The Council of Economic Advisors predict that green jobs pay an average of 10-20% more than other jobs. Defining a career clear goal and having a career strategy and plan will help you to choose the relevant qualifications and continual professional development to keep your knowledge up to date, enjoy a satisfying and lucrative career when many sectors by comparison are facing uncertainty or decline.

Many jobs are not city based, but locations such as the north of Scotland, so if you are a cosmopolitan city lover/dweller, this career may not be for you. There are many opportunities internationally too though.

Countries which have 100% renewable energy include: Iceland, Lesotho, Albania, Paraguay, Bhutan, Mozambique and Norway. Costa Rica, Laos, Columbia, Malawi, Nepal and Belize are also strong in this area so a career in renewable energy could take you to many corners of the world. The US has focused on technology to access gas and oil trapped in shale and countries such as Spain, Denmark, Germany and China are making renewable energy, especially wind, a high priority.

Routes into green energy as a career would be for example an engineering graduate with a few years’ experience in an established sector such as automotive or gas and oil, involved in mechanical engineering , offshore or manufacturing. A Masters degree in offshore engineering would be a sound investment in your career prospects. This is also a sector great to target for long term prospects with opportunities for finance, sales, marketing, HR etc.